Antebellum review by Bobby Blakey
I love movies that offer up trailers that confuse and make you think. Even more so when the trailer tells you nothing other than more questions. The latest film Antebellum was one of those starring Janelle Monáe, Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Gabourey Sidibe, Marque Richardson, Robert Aramayo, Lily Cowles, and Tongayi Chirisa. Does this film have something to say or will it be a slave to its own confusion?
Antebellum follows successful author Veronica Henley who finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late. The synopsis to this film is pretty simplistic, but that is kind of necessary to see it all unfold. It’s better if you have never seen the trailer as it offers up more confusion in a great way to see it seemingly be all over the place as it exists in two different periods.
Let me say that I loved this film and the way it was structured. It was nothing like I expected from the trailers and those thinking it a horror film will be let down. That being said anything dealing with slavery and that time is way more horrific than anything in a scary movie. There are some moments here that will just piss you off and make you angry as it should unless you are a racist. As the first half of the film unfolds you get engaged with the intrigue and pain of it all and just as soon it all changes.
Quickly you are shifted into a completely different tale in a modern setting that you see connections too, but still seems to be on its own and not really a part of each other. Have no fear they fully are and while it is a twist that some might see coming others will be shocked. I figured it out and still loved the way they handled it. It just works and gives you moments of anger, laughs and empowerment that is sadly all too relevant today.
Janelle Monáe leads the charge and is excellent here. She has the biggest
burden of juggling these two types of roles that are polar opposite while being very much alike. It is a powerful performance that resonates throughout the film and in turn makes it all the more powerful. The rest of the cast are great as well with some of the m being pure evil. They are necessary for the story, but it always makes me think of how hard it must be for some of these actors to do the things they do to play that type of role.
In the end this is one of those interesting and original films that while does have some familiar tones and elements of predictability it still works on every level. It may not work for some just because of it not being the film they thought they were getting or the content itself, but for me it knocked it out of the park.
In addition to the film this release features bonus content including deleted scenes, trailers, featurettes and more. Grab your copy of Antebellum available now on VOD, 4K Ultra, Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.